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States consider possible routes for Twin Cities to Madison high-speed rail

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Transportation officials in Wisconsin and Minnesota are considering over a dozen possible routes for high-speed rail service from Madison to the Twin Cities.

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Daniel Krom of Minnesota's Department of Transportation said he met with Badger state officials to look at "13 or 14 potential alignments."

They plan to narrow the list to three or four, and then choose a final route to submit to federal officials by this summer.

Wisconsin has received federal stimulus cash to extend the Amtrak line from Milwaukee-to-Madison, and a million dollars was approved to study the best route west of Madison.

Officials in La Crosse and Winona, Minn., want the line to follow Amtrak's Empire Builder train that's currently in their communities.

But an aide to Wausau House Democrat David Obey of Wausau says more Wisconsinites would be served if the train went up to Eau Claire, and go west from there.

Those who support the La Crosse and Winona route are trying to get as many

officials on their side as possible - and they want to get them to a summit meeting in La Crosse on March 18.

DOT officials in both Wisconsin and Minnesota plan to attend - and Wisconsin secretary Frank Busalacchi (boo-suh-lock'-ee) will be the keynote speaker.

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